Feedback frequency in treatment for childhood apraxia of speech

Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2012 Aug;21(3):239-57. doi: 10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0119). Epub 2012 Mar 21.


Purpose: To examine the role of feedback frequency in treatment for childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). Reducing the frequency of feedback enhances motor learning, and recently, such feedback frequency reductions have been recommended for the treatment of CAS. However, no published studies have explicitly compared different feedback frequencies in this population.

Method: Using an alternating treatments single-subject design with multiple baselines across behaviors, retention and transfer of learning were compared following high-frequency feedback and low-frequency feedback in 4 children with CAS. Feedback frequency was manipulated in the context of an integral stimulation treatment. Changes in perceptual accuracy were quantified with effect sizes and were compared across conditions.

Results: Findings were mixed, with 2 children showing an advantage for low-frequency feedback, 1 child showing a small advantage for high-frequency feedback, and 1 child showing no clear improvement in either condition.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that reducing the frequency of feedback may be beneficial for some children with CAS, although this may vary with the child's age or severity of apraxia. Caution is warranted in extrapolating from the nonspeech motor learning literature to speech treatment for CAS. Finally, this study contributes another replication to the literature on the efficacy of integral stimulation treatment for children with CAS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apraxias / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dysarthria / therapy*
  • Feedback, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Development Disorders / therapy
  • Male
  • Motor Skills
  • Phonation
  • Phonetics
  • Speech Intelligibility
  • Speech Production Measurement
  • Speech Therapy / methods*
  • Speech*